In 2011 Sudan was separated in Sudan and South Sudan. Sudan is controlled by the Arabic population, and South Sudan is controlled by the non-Arabic population. The country’s oil is located in South Sudan, but the oil refineries can only be exported through the pipeline network that runs through Sudan and ends in Port Sudan of the Red Sea.
The two countries are fighting over commissions and transit fees, and as you can read at the following Bloomberg article, titled “Sudan Blocks South Sudanese Oil Exports via Its Pipelines” of 2011, Sudan blocked oil exports until the issue of transit fees that South Sudan must pay to Sudan was resolved.
As you can read at the following BBC article, titled “China’s oil fears over South Sudan fighting”, January 2014, China is the main player in the oil industry of South Sudan. Sudan can produce approximately 450.000 barrels of oil per day, a quite impressive quantity, given that Saudi Arabia can produce approximately 9.000.000 barrels per day, as you can read at the following Al Jazeera article, titled “Background: Sudan’s oil industry”, July 2011.
China has excellent relations with both Sudan and South Sudan, and she tries to mediate in the conflict between the two countries. However China wants to construct an oil pipeline to Kenya’s port Lamu, in order to send the South Sudanese oil to the Indian Ocean, and from there to China. That way China could export the South Sudanese oil avoiding the war zones. The Chinese want to develop the Kenyan port of Lamu, in order to send at Lamu raw materials from many African countries. From there they can be shipped to China. At the following Economist article, titled “Kenya, South Sudan and Uganda: Pipeline poker”, March 2013, you can read that South Sudan, Kenya and Uganda are planning to jointly construct an oil pipeline.
Obviously the South Sudan- Kenya oil pipeline is causing a lot of tension between Sudan and Kenya, because if such a network is constructed, Sudan will lose its main source of revenue, and its main political leverage over South Sudan. As you can read at the following Wikipedia link, titled “Kenya-Sudan”, relations between Sudan and Kenya are very tensed, with Kenya supporting South Sudan.
It is believed that the Sudanese are behind some terrorist attacks in Kenya, and as you can read at the following Telegraph article, titled “Kenya court issues warrant for arrest of Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir”, November 2011, Kenya issued a warrant for the arrest of the Sudanese President Omar al Bashir. The warrant was not about terrorist attacks, but about the Genocide of Darfur. The International criminal court has issued a warrant for the arrest of Omar al Bashir, and Kenya decided to do the same thing. This is indicative of the relations between the two countries.
This situation brings Kenya and Israel together, because Israel is almost at war with Sudan. Sudan is Iran’s main base in Eastern Africa, and very often Iran is using Sudan to ship arms to Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon. For the Kenya-Israel alliance you can read the following Fox News article, titled “Kenya long seen as key Israeli ally in troubled region”, September 2013. In the past, Israel has bombed Iranian facilities in Sudan. You can read the following Guardian article, titled “Israeli attack on Sudanese arms factory offers glimpse of secret war”, October 2012. The article mentions that after the bombardment of some military bases in Sudan, the Israelis neither accepted nor refused that it was them who carried out the air strikes.
The Israelis believe that Iran itself is behind some of the terrorist attacks in Kenya, and the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu accused Iran of plotting such attacks, as you can read at the following Al Arabiya article, titled “Netanyahu accuses Iran of plotting attacks in Kenya”, July 2012. I believe that even if it is only indirectly, Iran is related to the terrorist attacks in Kenya, because Iran has connections with the Islamist organization Al-Shabaab, which is based in Somalia, but which also operates in Kenya. At the following Reuters article, titled “Iran denies shipping arms to Islamist militants in Somalia”, February 2013, you can read that the United Nations accused Iran of sending arms to Somalian terrorists, something that Iran denies.
However Sudan has a strongest motive to be involved in the Kenyan attacks, because Kenya supports South Sudan, Sudan’s main enemy, and because Kenya is willing to export the South Sudanese oil, depriving Sudan from its main source of income.
1)For the Bloomberg article see
“Sudan Blocks South Sudanese Oil Exports Via Its Pipelines”
2) For the BBC article see
“China’s oil fears over South Sudan fighting”, January 2014
3) For the Al Jazeera article see
“Background: Sudan’s oil industry”, June 2011
4) For the Economist article see
“Kenya, South Sudan and Uganda: Pipeline poker”, March 2013
5) For the Wikipedia link “Kenya–Sudan relations” see
6) For the Telegraph article see
“Kenya court issues warrant for arrest of Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir”, November 2011
7) For the Fox News article see
“Kenya long seen as key Israeli ally in troubled region”, September 2013
8)For the Guardian article see
“Israeli attack on Sudanese arms factory offers glimpse of secret war”, October 2012
9) For the Al Arabiya article see
“Netanyahu accuses Iran of plotting attacks in Kenya”, July 2012
10) For the Reuters article see:
“Iran denies shipping arms to Islamist militants in Somalia”, February 2013
11) “Iranians jailed for life in Kenya over terror charges”, May 2013